Mortgages? Big banks may be throwing in the towel

Courtesy Everett Collection
Mortgages aren’t looking wonderful to the nation’s largest banks.

You can kiss George Bailey’s mortgage market goodbye.

As the small-town banker in Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Bailey epitomized an old-fashioned world in which bankers know every borrower personally. In the mortgage market of 2019, borrowers can do just about everything online, never meeting the lender behind the process.

And as comments from executives of America’s biggest banks made clear last week, that person – or institution – making the loan is increasingly less likely to be a banker.

In an earnings report last week, JPMorgan Chase JPM, +0.76% said that mortgage originations were down 18% compared to a year ago in the first quarter.

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